Designing a Real Life Ecosystem!
By Chrisovalantis Gailas, November 1, 2006
- High School
Common Core Standards
Anchors for Reading:
Key Ideas and Details:
Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
Anchor Standards for Writing:
Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences.
Production and Distribution of Writing:
Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Research to Build and Present Knowledge:
Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Range of Writing:
Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.
Anchor standards for Speaking and Listening:
Comprehension and Collaboration:
Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas:
Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
Anchor standards for Language:
Conventions of Standard English:
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use:
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering an unknown term important to comprehension or expression.
- understand abiotic and biotic factors
- understand the concept of an ecosystem
- understand competition and natural selection
- record and analyze data
- write a lab report in proper, scientific format
- use thinking and analytical skills
- work as a cooperative team
20-gallon aquariums for students to build their ecosystem
- soil, leaves, twigs, plants, rocks, water or other materials for students to build their ecosystem floor plan
- small animals which will be assigned to students to place in the ecosystem (such as mouse, hamsters, grasshoppers, frogs, hermit crab)
- animals to be placed in all aquariums as cohabitants (ants, spiders, worms)
- enough space in a lab for students to display their aquariums (near windows if necessary) or lamps if windows are not available for light/heat
- Biotic & Abiotic Factors
- Natural Selection
- Niche & Habitat
- Energy Flow in an ecosystem / Feeding relationships
- Nutrient Limitation
- Community Interactions
- The aquarium will not receive outside interference from the group for one week!
- After one week, the students can add food into the aquarium twice a week if they deem it necessary.
- Students must factor in that both day-time and night-time lighting conditions should be simulated.
- Students should keep their research and their lessons in class in mind when building their ecosystem!
- What will be the base of the aquarium: soil, rocks, or wood?
- How much of the base will be placed on the floor of the aquarium?
- Will there be any lakes in the aquarium? How will the lakes be constructed? How big will the lakes be?
- Will there be any plant life in the aquarium? A floor plan of where the plants will be located and how they will look should be included.
- Where will the organism live?
- What food will the organism eat?
- How will the organism deal with competitors?
- What elements will the organism need to survive (heat, shade, etc).
- What is the organism doing?
- Is the organism eating?
- Where is it?
- Is there any change in the environment?
- How is it interacting with the other organisms?
- Any other observations which they find important or interesting.
Enrichment Extension Activities
Students can build a model of how an ecosystem or community was back in history at a certain time and place. This can be used to show the survival of a society at a certain time of history.